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Sergio Negrete v. D. Bravo

January 27, 2012

SERGIO NEGRETE,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
D. BRAVO, ET AL, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael J. Seng United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 1)

AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

Plaintiff Sergio Negrete ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction on April 5, 2010, and no other parties have appeared. (ECF No. 5.)

Plaintiff's Complaint is currently before the Court for screening. For the reasons stated below, the Court finds that Plaintiff fails to state a claim and that leave to amend would be futile.

I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious," that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1),(2). "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

A complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . . ." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, ___ U.S. ___, ___, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. at 1949-50.

II. SUMMARY OF PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at Pleasant Valley State Prison ("PVSP"), where all of the events at issue in the Complaint occurred. Plaintiff brings this action against the following defendants: 1) D. Bravo, 2) S. Cordero, 3) A.A. Zataray, and 4) Lopez.

Plaintiff alleges as follow:

Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at PVSP. (Compl. at 1.) At PVSP, Plaintiff has been given an "R" Suffix, because Plaintiff was previously accused, but not convicted, of rape. (Id.) A "R" Suffix means "restriction" and the California Department of Corrections ("CDCR") applies this suffix when a prisoner has been accused or found guilty of a sex related offense. (Id.) Due to the "R" Suffix, Plaintiff was restricted from various activities, including visitation rights with minors and so could not see his daughter. (Id. at 3-4.) Plaintiff also had to seek protective custody housing because he became known as a rapist in the general inmate population and his life thus was placed in danger. (Id.)

Defendant Bravo was a Corrections Officer/Captain, Defendant S. Cordero was a Corrections Officer/Counselor, and Defendant Lopez was a board member of the Board of Parole Hearings at the time of the alleged violations of Plaintiff's rights. (Compl. at 5.)

Defendant A.A. Zataray was a Corrections Counselor at the time. (Id. at 6.)

Plaintiff was arrested on January 17, 1999, for attempting to inflict corporal punishment on his spouse and for assault with a deadly weapon. (Compl. at 7.) On November 12, 1999, Plaintiff's motion to dismiss the charges was granted because there was not enough evidence to support the allegations. (Id.) Plaintiff was accused of raping his spouse/girlfriend, but she later said she fabricated the allegations to have Plaintiff placed in jail because he was cheating on her.*fn1 (Id. at 7-8.) On February 5, 1999, the Board of Parole Hearings, chaired by Defendant Lopez, held a revocation hearing to determine whether Plaintiff's parole should be revoked for attempting to inflict corporal punishment on his spouse and for assault with a deadly weapon. (Id. at 8.) Relying on Plaintiff's spouse/girlfriend's report, Defendant Lopez determined that Plaintiff had raped his spouse/girlfriend and was guilty of a sex offense. (Id. at 9.) Based on Defendant Lopez's findings, Plaintiff's parole was revoked. (Id.)

Plaintiff was returned to CDCR's custody on November 18, 1999 for car-jacking with a firearm. (Compl. at 10.) Plaintiff was given a 28 year sentence. (Id.) On January 3, 2001, because of his spouse/girlfriend's false accusations. Plaintiff was given the "R" Suffix classification by the Unit Classification Committee chaired by Defendants. (Id.) Defendants should have investigated the validity and veracity of the accusations before giving Plaintiff the "R" Suffix designation. (Id. at 11.) Defendants are allowed to attach a "R" Suffix without a conviction, but the information must be reliable and sufficient to conclude that the act causing the "R" Suffix designation occurred. (Id.) As a result of the designation, Plaintiff was subject to restricted family visits, from having certain jobs in the prison system, and from having visitation rights with minors, including his daughter. (Id. at 12.) Plaintiff became labeled and targeted as a rapist in the general inmate population, (Id.) He was forced to seek protective custody. (Id.)

Plaintiff appealed his "R" Suffix classification in 2005, 2007, and 2008. (Compl. at 4.) Plaintiff also appealed the associated restrictions on visitation rights. (Id.) Plaintiff appealed the classification because it was baseless and erroneous. (Id.) The 2007 and 2008 appeals challenged the validity of the restriction on Plaintiff's visitation rights with minors. (Id. at 13.) Plaintiff's 2008 appeal was granted, and although the "R" Suffix was not removed, Plaintiff was given contact visitation rights with minors, including his daughter. (Id. at 4.) The committee that restored Plaintiff's visitation rights with his daughter found that there was no factual basis for the 1999 ...


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